August 24, 2011 / 8:23 PM / 6 years ago

Guess outlook disappoints; shares slide

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. clothing maker Guess Inc (GES.N) gave a disappointing outlook for the rest of the year, citing a difficult economy and competitive environment.

The company, best known for its jeans, reported better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter, but said a recent slowdown in the global economy made it more cautious moving forward.

“Recently ... we’ve seen increased volatility and uncertainty in financial markets around the world and the global economy,” said Chief Executive Paul Marciano. “As we know from the past, volatility can significantly impact consumer confidence.”

The company’s shares fell 4.8 percent in after-hours trading.

Guess generates more than 40 percent of its revenue in Europe, where sovereign debt crises are hurting many economies. It has been taking steps to diversify its European revenue away from Italy, but that country still accounts for some 40 percent of the region’s total.

“Everyday you open the TV, you have no clue if things are going to be up or going to be down,” Marciano said about the global stock market and economic factors. “We can only manage what is manageable.”

Guess said cotton prices have eased but that the easing should not benefit results in the current fiscal year, which ends in January 2012.

The company forecast earnings of 71 to 74 cents per share in the current third quarter on revenue of $650 million to $665 million. That compares with analysts’ average estimate for earnings of 84 cents per share and revenue of $687.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It said same-store sales in the quarter so far were down at a low single-digit rate, and expects that trend to continue for the rest of the quarter.

For the full year, Guess forecast adjusted earnings per share of $3.25 to $3.35 on revenue of $2.74 billion to $2.78 billion. Analysts were expecting $3.43 per share on revenue of $2.78 billion. It also expects full-year same-store sales to fall at a low single-digit rate as it tightens inventory to prevent markdown selling.

In the just-ended second quarter, net income fell to $60.7 million, or 65 cents per share, from $66.8 million or 72 cents per share a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were 84 cents per share, topping analysts’ average estimate of 81 cents per share.

Quarterly revenue jumped 17.3 percent to $677.2 million, helped by foreign exchange rates. Same-store sales, or sales at retail stores open at least a year, fell 3.4 percent in North America in local currency in the quarter.

North American wholesale revenue fell 0.9 percent.

Revenue rose 31.1 percent in Asia and 29.9 percent in Europe, helped by the weak U.S. dollar.

Shares fell $1.60, or 4.8 percent, to $31.69 in after-hours trade following the earnings report. They closed at $33.29 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Gary Hill, Matthew Lewis and Carol Bishopric

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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